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Six Nations: Ireland v Wales

Ireland resume their Guinness Six Nations campaign this weekend as Wales come to town.

After two bonus-point wins from two games, against France and Italy, Andy Farrell’s men are heavy favourites to retain their title and perhaps even complete a first ever back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slam.

Warren Gatland’s largely inexperienced side, who have lost narrowly to Scotland and England, will aim to throw a spanner in the works.

Find out all you need to know about the contest here.


Listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 with Michael Corcoran and Fiona Coghlan.


Follow a live blog on and the RTÉ News App followed by report, reaction and player ratings.


Ireland v Wales will be live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, with coverage under way from 1.20pm. France v Italy (Sunday) will also be live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 2.30pm.

Highlights on Against the Head, Monday, 8pm.


It will be a dry day with sunny spells. Highest temperatures of 8 or 9 degrees with light to moderate northwest breezes.

Listen to the RTÉ Rugby podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

A team with a perfect winning record meets a team with two defeats under their belt and it’s hard to see an upset in this match-up.

If Wales didn’t have the calibre and history they have they’d be in the same boat as Italy when it comes to pre-match predictions. Warren Gatland is rebuilding and they’ve a lot of foundation to go in.

Although they have lost their opening games by a combined total of three points, those results can be regarded as more of a comment on Scotland’s fall-off in the second half and England’s transition as they try to forge a new identity with some old and new personnel.

Ireland’s two wins to date have been on the other end of the scale, running in five tries against France (38-17) and another six against Italy (36-0), whom they kept scoreless.

An Ireland win will equal England’s record of 11 consecutive championship victories between 2015 and 2017.

They start the game as 22-point favourites in some quarters and have not been beaten at home by Wales since 2015. That defeat was a World Cup warm-up, with the last Welsh Six Nations victory in Dublin coming 12 years ago.

In fact, the hosts are on a record 17-game winning streak at Lansdowne Road.

In team news, Andy Farrell has made seven changes to the side that beat Italy 36-0 with Ciarán Frawley replacing the injured Hugo Keenan at full-back.

Bundee Aki, Jamison Gibson-Park, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, Josh van der Flier and Peter O’Mahony all return.

Wales make just one change from the side that were defeated by England at Twickenham with Sam Costelow starting at out-half and Ioan Lloyd dropping to the bench.


Ireland: Ciarán Frawley; Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jack Crowley, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Joe McCarthy, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (capt), Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Oli Jager, James Ryan, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Stuart McCloskey.

Wales: Cameron Winnett; Josh Adams, George North, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer; Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Keiron Assiratti; Dafydd Jenkins, Adam Beard; Alex Mann, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Mackenzie Martin, Kieran Hardy, Ioan Llyod, Mason Grady.


Referee: Andrea Piardi (Ita)

ARs: Karl Dickson (Eng)
Gianluca Gnecchi (Ita)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)


Andy Farrell (Ireland head coach): “We’ve got to manage ourselves from the start of the game to the end in the best way possible, really, because if we don’t we’ll come unstuck, really, there’s no doubt about that.”

Warren Gatland (Wales head coach): “[Ireland] are a settled team, they are world class and it’s a big challenge for us. We’re excited for it. They are comfortable when they have got the ball and they have got the ability to keep it for multiple phases.”


Wales 10-34 Ireland – Principality Stadium (4 February 2023, Six Nations)

Ireland 29-7 Wales – Aviva Stadium (5 February 2022, Six Nations)

Wales 21-16 Ireland – Millennium Stadium (7 February 2021, Six Nations)

Ireland 32-9 Wales – Aviva Stadium (13 November 2020, Autumn Nations Cup)

Ireland 24-14 Wales – Aviva Stadium (8 February 2020, Six Nations)

Elsewhere, Scotland, off the back of a very disappointing loss to France, host England in the Calcutta Cup (4.45pm). Gregor Townsend’s men have won their last three meetings, all by less than a score.

France, with a win and a loss to their name, welcome Italy to Lille on Sunday with a 3pm kick-off (Irish time).

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